Archive for February, 2012

February 15, 2012

Good cheap food at Double Take Bar in Williamsfield, Illinois

Had a great burger tonight at the Double Take in Williamsfield, Illinois! The Double Take does not look like much more than a small town redneck bar but it offers some really good, affordable, meals with ribs, burgers, and catfish on the menu. There are specials every day including taco’s, and steaks. There is not much of an offering of restaurant fare in this region, Eastern Knox County. Luckily the one place out here offers decent fare for a good price. The burger that I had was made fresh and was not any kind of prepackaged type of a hamburger patty that you might expect at a bar.

In the past I have had the ribs and catfish at the Double Take and both were excellent. The chef here really tries to serve a good meal and he succeeds! The one fault would be the fries and salads that come with the main items. The fries that came with the hamburger were alright but I would prefer fresh hand cut fries. This seems to be the one area many places skimp on but the fries are part of the meal and should be done right. The salads too are served with a packaged salad dressing that I did not like. Other than that I really think that this place should be commended for serving up a great cheap meal!

The Double Take, as I said, is really just a bar with seating for patrons who are there to eat. It is normally quiet though and is popular with locals. The typical meal will run about $8 to $10 per person without drinks. They offer most major brands of beer, some craft beer and some wine. Williamsfield is about 18 miles east of Galesburg on Illinois Highway 180, north of US Highway 150.

February 2, 2012

Stephanie Izard on the Rosie Show

Having missed the chance to see any of her TV appearances I made sure to catch her appearance on Rosie this afternoon.  I admire Stephanie for her support of  local and sustainable agriculture in the Chicago Region. On top of that, she has promoted the Chicago food scene like nobody else in years! Chef Izard’s Girl and the Goat restaurant was awarded the 2011 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant and she also authored Girl in the Kitchen. In 2008, she was the winner of the fourth season of Top Chef on Bravo. She is the only woman in eight seasons to have won Top Chef!

With all of the bad press about the corruption in Illinois as well as the TV dramas that depict Chicago as basically a cesspool, it is refreshing to see a positive spin on Chicago. In many ways, and this is especially true in the local food movement, Chicago in in the forefront and is a trendsetter! Stephanie Izard is there setting the trend!

On the Rosie Show, Stephanie cooked her green bean recipe, sauteed with fish sauce vinaigrette and cashews. I will have to try them next time that I am up in Chicago since they looked great! Here is the recipe from Stephanie’s website http://stephanieizard.com/:

green beans
4 fl oz. oil
shallots
green bean dressing
cashews (or another nut if you prefer a different one)
aioli
green bean dressing
yields 2 cups

4 oz. lemon juice
5 oz. fish sauce
2 ½ oz. soy
1 tablespoon dijon
3/4 teaspoon sriracha
1/3 oz cloves garlic

combine lemon juice, fish sauce, soy, dijon and sriracha. transfer to blender, add garlic and emulsify with oil.
aioli
yield: 1 cup

1/3 cup green bean dressing (from above)
1 cup mayonnaise
whisk together
preparation

1. heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan.
2. add green beans and some sliced shallots for flavor.
3. add enough vinaigrette to coat the green beans. let steam.
4. add a handful or two of cashews for flavor. season with salt.
5. transfer to serving dish & drizzle with aioli.
6. serve hot.